Media play an important role in science communication by bringing scientists/experts together with the public, involving scientists/experts in transferring science information in an easily-undertook way, and thus engage people’s daily life with science. This paper uses Paul F Lazarsfeld’s Two-Step Flow Theory to analyze Science News Biweekly’s efforts in science communication, including composing the science communication column and organizing activities like online training course for science journalists, seminars including various participants and discussing science’s role in policymaking of public health, GM food, and urban planning, and science-media exchange programs involving scientists and journalists. By all these activities, Science News Biweekly first tries to train scientists/ experts and journalists into opinion leaders who are both good at science knowledge and communication, and then create opportunities for them to radiate their effects to the common people in a way widely engage the public. The analysis finds that because the second step, that is the interpersonal communication, is thought to be more important in convincing people to believe a certain scientific information and thus influence decision-making, media can actually try to do more to “mould” opinion leaders and improve people’s perception of science knowledge in the first step. And in the field of science and technology, opinion leaders’ role in the government’s policymaking is much more significant. Thus media should try more to “train” more opinion leaders, so as to promote science communication effectively.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Media and science communication creating science opinion leaders
A case study of science news magazine

Yihong Tan   Planning Supervisor and Chief Editor of Science News magazine

Hepeng Jia  

Media play an important role in science communication by bringing scientists/experts together with the public, involving scientists/experts in transferring science information in an easily-undertook way, and thus engage people’s daily life with science. This paper uses Paul F Lazarsfeld’s Two-Step Flow Theory to analyze Science News Biweekly’s efforts in science communication, including composing the science communication column and organizing activities like online training course for science journalists, seminars including various participants and discussing science’s role in policymaking of public health, GM food, and urban planning, and science-media exchange programs involving scientists and journalists. By all these activities, Science News Biweekly first tries to train scientists/ experts and journalists into opinion leaders who are both good at science knowledge and communication, and then create opportunities for them to radiate their effects to the common people in a way widely engage the public. The analysis finds that because the second step, that is the interpersonal communication, is thought to be more important in convincing people to believe a certain scientific information and thus influence decision-making, media can actually try to do more to “mould” opinion leaders and improve people’s perception of science knowledge in the first step. And in the field of science and technology, opinion leaders’ role in the government’s policymaking is much more significant. Thus media should try more to “train” more opinion leaders, so as to promote science communication effectively.

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